Kathleen Blanco

Illustration by Jasper Means

Kathleen Babineaux Blanco: a carpet cleaner’s daughter from New Iberia turned school teacher turned stay-at-home mom turned…Louisiana's first female governor. In 2003, her focus was on education reform, juvenile justice, and economic development. And halfway into her first and only term, it looked like she had a good chance at re-election. But that all changed, with Hurricane Katrina. 

Sticky Wicket: Louisiana Politics Versus the Press is a new mini series out of WWNO New Orleans Public Radio and WRKF Baton Rouge Public Radio that takes on four historic clashes between Louisiana politicians and the media, one at a time. These relationships have always been love/hate in the Pelican state.

Click on the player above to hear the trailer, and tune in Tuesday, November 13th at 630 p.m. to hear the first episode live on WWNO. 

Former Governor Kathleen Blanco stood at the center of a political storm that swirled around the response to Hurricane Katrina. Like all of us who were here for the storm and its aftermath, her memories are filled with stories of fear and courage, heartbreak and healing. She shares the moment when Katrina transformed from pure tragedy to trust in the resilience of Louisiana's citizens.


Chris Mickal

This month, as part of WWNO's ongoing Katrina 10 coverage, we bring you The Katrina Files: Reflections from First Responders. This series is based on oral histories conducted by The Historic New Orleans Collection and hosted by Paul Maassen.

This episode features interviews with the 39th Infantry Brigade of the Arkansas Army National Guard, which was the first unit called after Katrina to back up the Louisiana National Guard.

Former governor Kathleen Blanco is interviewed by historian Mark Cave.
Michael Wynne

Kathleen Blanco is the only woman to be elected governor of Louisiana, and was at the helm when Hurricane Katrina laid waste to the Gulf Coast. She admits that the challenges of the storm were too much for state and local governments to handle.